CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

A GUIDE TO PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) SYSTEM DESIGN AND INSTALLATION

JUNE 2001 500-01-020

CONSULTANT REPORTGray Davis, Governor

A GUIDE TO PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV)
SYSTEM DESIGN AND INSTALLATION

Prepared for:

California Energy Commission Energy Technology Development Division 1516 Ninth Street Sacramento, California 95814

Prepared by:

Endecon Engineering347 Norris Court San Ramon, California 94583

with

Regional Economic Research, Inc. 1104 Main Street, Suite 630 Vancouver, Washington 98660

 
PREFACE

The California Energy Commission is providing this guide as an information resource to those installing photovoltaic (PV) systems under the Emerging Renewables Buydown Program. This is the first published draft of this guide and represents the current state-of-the-art in PV system installation. Revisions will be made to the document as necessary to address suggestions made by users of the guide. If anyone has suggestions on how to make this guide more useful, please do not hesitate to send those suggestions to the California Energy Commission. We hope that this guide is a worthwhile addition to the resources available for installers and look forward to your constructive comments for continued improvements.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION............................................................................................ 4

1.1. Basic Principles to Follow When Designing a Quality PV System.........................................4

1.2. Basic Steps to Follow When Installing a PV System...............................................................4SECTION 2: SYSTEM DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS ........................................................ 5

2.1 Typical System Designs and Options.........................................................................................5

2.1.1. Grid-Interactive Only (No Battery Backup)..........................................................................5

2.1.2. Grid-Interactive With Battery Backup..................................................................................5

2.2. Mounting Options ........................................................................................................................6

2.2.1. Roof mount..........................................................................................................................6

2.2.2. Shade Structure..................................................................................................................7

2.2.3. Building-Integrated PV Array (BIPV)...................................................................................7

2.3 Estimating System Output...........................................................................................................8

2.3.1. Factors Affecting Output .....................................................................................................8

2.3.2. Estimating System Energy Output......................................................................................9

2.4. Installation Labor Effort ............................................................................................................10

2.5. Incentives to Reduce Costs......................................................................................................10

2.6. Estimating Electrical Energy Savings .....................................................................................10

2.7. Supplier and System Qualifications ........................................................................................10

2.7.1. Pre-Engineered Systems..................................................................................................10

2.7.2. Warranties.........................................................................................................................11

2.7.3. Company Reputation (years in business, previous projects)............................................11

2.8. Overall Project Coordination ....................................................................................................12

2.8.1. Utility Considerations ........................................................................................................12

2.8.2. Acceptance of Systems (performance evaluation)...........................................................12

2.8.3. System Documentation.....................................................................................................12

2.8.4. System Monitoring ............................................................................................................12

2.9. References..................................................................................................................................13SECTION 3: SYSTEM INSTALLATION ........................................................................... 14

3.1. General Recommendations ......................................................................................................14

3.1.1. Materials recommendations..............................................................................................14

3.1.2. Equipment recommendations and installation methods...................................................14

3.2. PV System Design And Installation .........................................................................................14

3.2.1. Preparation Phase ............................................................................................................14

3.2.2. Design Phase....................................................................................................................15

3.2.3. Installation Phase..............................................................................................................16

3.2.4. Maintenance and Operation Phase ..................................................................................19
SECTION 4: SOLAR ELECTRIC (PV) SYSTEM INSTALLATION CHECKLIST ............. 20APPENDIX........................................................................................................................25

SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION

Photovoltaic (PV) power systems convert sunlight directly into electricity. A residential PV power system enables a homeowner to generate some or all of their daily electrical energy demand on their own roof, exchanging daytime excess power for future energy needs (i.e. nighttime usage). The house remains connected to the electric utility at all times, so any power needed above what the solar system can produce is simply drawn from the utility. PV systems can also include battery backup or uninterruptible power supply (UPS) capability to operate selected circuits in the residence for hours or days during a utility outage.

The purpose of this document is to provide tools and guidelines for the installer to help ensure that residential photovoltaic power systems are properly specified and installed, resulting in a system that operates to its design potential. This document sets out key criteria that describe a quality system, and key design and installation considerations that should be met to achieve this goal. This document deals with systems located on residences that are connected to utility power, and does not address the special issues of homes that are remote from utility power.

In this early stage of marketing solar electric power systems to the residential market, it is advisable for an installer to work with well established firms that have complete, pre-engineered packaged solutions that accommodate variations in models, rather than custom designing custom systems. Once a system design has been chosen, attention to installation detail is critically important. Recent studies have found that 10-20% of new PV installations have serious installation problems that will result in significantly decreased performance. In many of these cases, the performance shortfalls could have been eliminated with proper attention to the details of the installation.

1.1. Basic Principles to Follow When Designing a Quality PV System
  1. Select a packaged system that meets the owner's needs. Customer criteria for a system may include reduction in monthly electricity bill, environmental benefits, desire for backup power, initial budget constraints, etc. Size and orient the PV array to provide the expected electrical power and energy.

  2. Ensure the roof area or other installation site is capable of handling the desired system size.

  3. Specify sunlight and weather resistant materials for all outdoor equipment.

  4. Locate the array to minimize shading from foliage, vent pipes, and adjacent structures.

  5. Design the system in compliance with all applicable building and electrical codes.

  6. Design the system with a minimum of electrical losses due to wiring, fuses, switches, and inverters.

  7. Properly house and manage the battery system, should batteries be required.

  8. Ensure the design meets local utility interconnection requirements.

1.2. Basic Steps to Follow When Installing a PV System
  1. Ensure the roof area or other installation site is capable of handling the desired system size.

  2. If roof mounted, verify that the roof is capable of handling additional weight of PV system. Augment roof structure as necessary.

  3. Properly seal any roof penetrations with roofing industry approved sealing methods.

  4. Install equipment according to manufacturers specifications, using installation requirements and procedures from the manufacturers' specifications.

  5. Properly ground the system parts to reduce the threat of shock hazards and induced surges.

  6. Check for proper PV system operation by following the checkout procedures on the PV System Installation Checklist.

  7. Ensure the design meets local utility interconnection requirements

  8. Have final inspections completed by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and the utility (if required).

SECTION 2: SYSTEM DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

2.1 Typical System Designs and Options

PV Electrical System Types

There are two general types of electrical designs for PV power systems for homes; systems that interact with the utility power grid and have no battery backup capability; and systems that interact and include battery backup as well.

2.1.1. Grid-Interactive Only (No Battery Backup)

This type of system only operates when the utility is available. Since utility outages are rare, this system will normally provide the greatest amount of bill savings to the customer per dollar of investment. However, in the event of an outage, the system is designed to shut down until utility power is restored.

Typical System Components:

PV Array: A PV Array is made up of PV modules, which are environmentally-sealed collections of PV Cells— the devices that convert sunlight to electricity. The most common PV module that is 5-to-25 square feet in size and weighs about 3-4 lbs./ft2. Often sets of four or more smaller modules are framed or attached together by struts in what is called a panel. This panel is typically around 20-35 square feet in area for ease of handling on a roof. This allows some assembly and wiring functions to be done on the ground if called for by the installation instructions.

balance of system equipment (BOS): BOS includes mounting systems and wiring systems used to integrate the solar modules into the structural and electrical systems of the home. The wiring systems include disconnects for the dc and ac sides of the inverter, ground-fault protection, and overcurrent protection for the solar modules. Most systems include a combiner board of some kind since most modules require fusing for each module source circuit. Some inverters include this fusing and combining function within the inverter enclosure.

dc-ac inverter: This is the device that takes the dc power from the PV array and converts it into standard ac power used by the house appliances.

metering: This includes meters to provide indication of system performance. Some meters can indicate home energy usage.

other components: utility switch (depending on local utility)

2.1.2. Grid-Interactive With Battery Backup

This type of system incorporates energy storage in the form of a battery to keep “critical load” circuits in the house operating during a utility outage. When an outage occurs the unit disconnects from the utility and powers specific circuits in the home. These critical load circuits are wired from a subpanel that is separate from the rest of the electrical circuits. If the outage occurs during daylight hours, the PV array is able to assist the battery in supplying the house loads. If the outage occurs at night, the battery supplies the load. The amount of time critical loads can operate depends on the amount of power they consume and the energy stored in the battery system. A typical backup battery system may provide about 8kWh of energy storage at an 8-hour discharge rate, which means that the battery will operate a 1-kW load for 8 hours. A 1-kW load is the average usage for a home when not running an air conditioner.

Typical System Components:

In addition to components listed in 2.1.1., a battery backup system may include some or all of the following:

  1. batteries and battery enclosures

  2. Battery charge controller

  3. separate subpanel(s) for critical load circuits

BatterySystem

2.2. Mounting Options

There are several ways to install a PV array at a residence. Most PV systems produce 5-to-10 Watts per square foot of array area. This is based on a variety of different technologies and the varying efficiency of different PV products. A typical 2kW PV system will need 200-400 square feet of unobstructed area to site the system. Consideration should also be given for access to the system. This access space can add up to 20% of needed area to the mounting area required.

2.2.1. Roof mount Often the most convenient and appropriate place to put the PV array is on the roof of the building. The PV array may be mounted above and parallel to the roof surface with a standoff of several inches for cooling purposes. Sometimes, such as with flat roofs, a separate structure with a more optimal tilt angle is mounted on the roof.

Proper roof mounting can be labor intensive. Particular attention must be paid to the roof structure and the weather sealing of roof penetrations. It is typical to have one support bracket for every 100 Watts of PV modules. For new construction, support brackets are usually mounted after the roof decking is applied and before the roofing materials is installed. The crew in charge of laying out the array mounting system normally installs the brackets. The roofing contractor can then flash around the brackets as they install the roof. A simple installation detail and a sample of the support bracket is often all that is needed for a roofing contractor to estimate the flashing cost.

Masonry roofs are often structurally designed near the limit of their weight-bearing capacity. In this case, the roof structure must either be enhanced to handle the additional weight of the PV system or the masonry roof transitioned to composition shingles in the area where the PV array is to be mounted. By transitioning to a lighter roofing product, there is no need to reinforce the roof structure since the combined weight of composite shingles and PV array is usually less than the displaced masonry product.

2.2.2. Shade Structure An alternative to roof mounting is to mount the system as a shade structure. A shade structure may be a patio cover or deck shade trellis where the PV array becomes the shade. These shade systems can support small to large PV systems.

The construction cost with a PV system is a little different than for a standard patio cover, especially if the PV array isacts as part or the entire shade roof. If the PV array ismounted at a steeper angle than a typical shade structure, additional structural enhancements may be necessary to handle the additional wind loads. The weight of the PV arrayis 3-to-5 lbs./ft2, which is well within structural limits of mostshade support structures. The avoided cost of installing roofbrackets and the associated labor could be counted towardthe cost of a fully constructed patio cover. The overall cost ofthis option will likely be higher than roof mounting, but the value of the shade often offsets the additional costs. Otherissues to consider include

  • Simplified array access for maintenance

  • Module wiring, if visible fromunderneath, must be carefullyconcealed to keep the installation aesthetically pleasing

  • Cannot grow vines, or must be diligent about keeping it trimmed back from modules and wiring

2.2.3. Building-Integrated PV Array (BIPV)

Another type of system displaces some of the conventional roofing product with building-integrated PV modules. Commercially available products currently include roof slates (similar to masonry roofing) and standing seam metal roofing products. Special attention must be paid to ensure that these products are installed properly and carry the necessary fire ratings.

Dimensional tolerances are critical and installation requirements must followed precisely to avoid roof leaks.

2.3 Estimating System Output

PV systems produce power in proportion to the intensity of sunlight striking the solar array surface. The intensity of light on a surface varies throughout a day, as well as day to day, so the actual output of a solar power system can vary substantial. There are other factors that affect the output of a solar power system. These factors need to be understood so that the customer has realistic expectations of overall system output and economic benefits under variable weather conditions over time.

2.3.1. Factors Affecting Output

Standard Test Conditions Solar modules produce dc electricity. The dc output of solar modules is rated by manufacturers under Standard Test Conditions (STC). These conditions are easily recreated in a factory, and allow for consistent comparisons of products, but need to be modified to estimate output under common outdoor operating conditions. STC conditions are: solar cell temperature = 25 oC; solar irradiance (intensity) = 1000 W/m2 (often referred to as peak sunlight intensity, comparable to clear summer noon time intensity); and solar spectrum as filtered by passing through 1.5 thickness of atmosphere (ASTM Standard Spectrum). A manufacturer may rate a particular solar module output at 100 Watts of power under STC, and call the product a “100-watt solar module.” This module will often have a production tolerance of +/-5% of the rating, which means that the module can produce 95 Watts and still be called a “100-watt module.” To be conservative, it is best to use the low end of the power output spectrum as a starting point (95 Watts for a 100-watt module).

Temperature Module output power reduces as module temperature increases. When operating on a roof, a solar module will heat up substantially, reaching inner temperatures of 50-75 oC. For crystalline modules, a typical temperature reduction factor recommended by the CEC is 89% or 0.89. So the “100-watt” module will typically operate at about 85 Watts (95 Watts x 0.89 = 85 Watts) in the middle of a spring or fall day, under full sunlight conditions.

Dirt and dust Dirt and dust can accumulate on the solar module surface, blocking some of the sunlight and reducing output. Much of California has a rainy season and a dry season. Although typical dirt and dust is cleaned off during every rainy season, it is more realistic to estimate system output taking into account the reduction due to dust buildup in the dry season. A typical annual dust reduction factor to use is 93% or 0.93. So the “100watt module,” operating with some accumulated dust may operate on average at about 79 Watts (85 Watts x

0.93 = 79 Watts).

Mismatch and wiring losses The maximum power output of the total PV array is always less than the sum of the maximum output of the individual modules. This difference is a result of slight inconsistencies in performance from one module to the next and is called module mismatch and amounts to at least a 2% loss in system power. Power is also lost to resistance in the system wiring. These losses should be kept to a minimum but it is difficult to keep these losses below 3% for the system. A reasonable reduction factor for these losses is 95% or 0.95.

Dc to ac conversion losses The dc power generated by the solar module must be converted into common household ac power using an inverter. Some power is lost in the conversion process, and there are additional losses in the wires from the rooftop array down to the inverter and out to the house panel. Modern inverters commonly used in residential PV power systems have peak efficiencies of 92-94% indicated by their manufacturers, but these again are measured under well-controlled factory conditions. Actual field conditions usually result in overall dc-to-ac conversion efficiencies of about 88-92%, with 90% or 0.90 a reasonable compromise.

So the “100-watt module” output, reduced by production tolerance, heat, dust, wiring, ac conversion, and other losses will translate into about 68 Watts of AC power delivered to the house panel during the middle of

a clear day (100 Watts x 0.95 x 0.89 x 0.93 x 0.95 x 0.90 = 67 Watts).

2.3.2. Estimating System Energy Output

South Sun angle and house orientation SSE,SSW During the course of a day, the angle of sunlight SE, SW striking the solar module will change, which will affect ESE,WSW the power output. The output from the “100-watt E, Wmodule” will rise from zero gradually during dawn

Flat 4:12 7:12 12:12 21:12 Vertical

0.89 0.97 1.00 0.97 0.89 0.58

0.89 0.97 0.99 0.96 0.88 0.59

0.89 0.95 0.96 0.93 0.85 0.60

0.89 0.92 0.91 0.87 0.79 0.57

0.89 0.88 0.84 0.78 0.70 0.52

hours, and increase with the sun angle to its peak Table 1: Orientation Factors for Various output at midday, and then gradually decrease into Roof Pitches and Directions the afternoon and back down to zero at night. While this variation is due in part to the changing intensity of the sun, the changing sun angle (relative to the modules) also has an effect

The pitch of the roof will affect the sun angle on the module surface, as will the East-West orientation of the roof. These effects are summarized in Table 1, which shows that an array on a 7:12-pitch roof facing due South in Southern California gives, for example, the greatest output (correction factor of 1.00), while an East facing roof at that same pitch would yield about 84% of the annual energy of the South facing roof (a correction factor of 0.84 from Table 1).

Table 2 is intended to give a conservative estimate of the annual energy expected from a typical PV system, taking into account the various factors discussed above.

These values are for annual kWh produced from a 1-kilowatt (1kW) STC DC array, as a simple and easy guide. If the system includes battery backup the output may be reduced further by 6-10% due to battery effects.

Example: A 4 kWSTC solar array (as specified under STC conditions) located in the Los Angeles area at a 4:12 pitch and facing southeast should produce at least 5343 kWh of electric energy annually (1406 kWh/kW x 0.95 x 4 kW = Table 2: Annual Energy Production 5343 kWh). The typical residential customer in that area uses about 7300 kWh annually1, meaning such a PV system by City per kWSTC array rating could produce at least 75% of the total energy needed by such a typical home. And if energy efficiency measures were taken by the owner to reduce the overall electrical consumption of the home, the percentage could approach 100%. Note that the low end of the range was used to calculate the actual savings. It is wise to be conservative when making performance claims.

CITY kWh/kWstc (range)
Arcata 1092 - 1365
Shasta 1345 - 1681
San Francisco 1379 - 1724
Sacramento 1455 - 1819
Fresno 1505 - 1881
Santa Maria 1422 - 1778
Barstow 1646 - 2058
Los Angeles 1406 - 1758
San Diego 1406 - 1758

Net metering has recently been extended to time-of-use customers yielding a potential additional value of 20-30% for the PV electricity generated by the system. With this net time-of-use metering, the homeowner would cover almost their entire electric bill and only have to pay the monthly metering charge.

1 Actual residential electrical energy usage varies dramatically from one home to the next. It is best to use the previous two years of energy bills to determine actual energy consumption for a particular home. Energy consumption in California can vary from 3,000 kWh/year for a very minimal user to 25,000 kWh/year for a large home with heavy electrical usage.

2.4. Installation Labor Effort

Installation effort is very sensitive to specific house layouts and roofing type. An experienced crew can install a 2 kW non-battery PV system in two-to-four person-days. Systems with large solar arrays are relatively less effort per watt of power and kWh of energy than smaller systems because the installation of the inverter and other hardware required by all PV systems is spread over more solar modules. Systems with battery backup are more labor intensive than non-battery systems because of the additional wiring required for wiring the critical load subpanel. A battery system can add 50-100% to the time required for the installation.

2.5. Incentives to Reduce Costs

Financial incentives are available from the Energy Commission, the CPUC, and several local utilities and municipalities throughout California to reduce these system costs. The CEC buydowns are calculated by multiplying $4.50 times the adjusted peak dc power from the system in Watts (up to a maximum of 50% of the system cost). This buydown is available for all Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) customers. Some municipal utilities in cities such as Sacramento, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and Roseville provide the same or even higher incentives.

This level of rebate can reduce the cost of systems by 30 to 50 percent or more and result in much more favorable economics for the owner. An owner can incorporate a basic 1 kW solar power system for as little as $3,000-$5,000. If the system is included in the mortgage of the home, this small increment in house payment may be offset by an equivalent reduction in the monthly utility bill.

2.6. Estimating Electrical Energy Savings

One of the key benefits of residential solar power systems is a lower electric utility bill resulting from the energy that the solar system produces. The energy savings to a homeowner can be estimated by simply multiplying the annual energy in kWh that a PV system might produce times the utility electric energy rate. These rates vary by local utility, and are likely to increase from their current values. Estimated energy savings from small and large PV systems in Southern California are presented below to illustrate the kinds of savings that can be achieves.

2.7. Supplier and System Qualifications

When choosing a supplier and specifying a PV system, the following are a series of general guidelines to help guide the decision-making process.

2.7.1. Pre-Engineered Systems

When a owner considers an HVAC system for a home, they do not buy a compressor from one manufacturer and a cooling coil from another company, and a fan from a third company and then put these pieces together. The equipment manufacturers have engineered a packaged system that is designed to work together. Each model of a home may need a slightly different unit based on the size and layout, but those variations have been designed into the product. In the same way, the components of a PV system should be engineered to work together as a unit accounting for variations in system size for different homes.

Since the PV industry is in the early stages of development, there is a wide range of competency levels among PV system integrators. Unless the installer is familiar enough with the technology to recognize whether the system integrator is competent, it is much safer to stay with a firm that provides pre-engineered systems. Pre-engineering may not guarantee a flawless system, but the concerns over product compatibility and specification of individual components have been addressed in the system design.

2.7.2. Warranties

There are several types of warranties that come with a system or can be purchased in addition to a standard warranty. These include (1) product warranties covering defects in manufacture; (2) system warranties covering proper operation of equipment for a specific time period (5 or 10 years); and, (3) annual energy performance warranties covering the guaranteed output of the PV system. The installer, to guarantee proper system installation, often covers the system and annual energy performance warranties.

Product warranties: It is common these days to see warranties on PV modules of 20 or more years. Although this is impressive and indicates the level of confidence manufacturers place in the longevity of their products, there are many other components in these systems that may not have the same life expectancy. Inverters may have 10-year, five-year, or even one-year warranties. This must be considered when reviewing the cost of inverters and other system components.

System warranties: It is equally important to look for entire system-level warranties of five years or more. This indicates that the manufacturer has taken many other operational issues into account. Since these systems generate electrical power, it is helpful to have system performance included as part of the warranty. For instance, a typical system-level warranty might state that the system is guaranteed to produce two kilowatts (2 kW) of AC power at PVUSA Test Conditions (PTC) (PTC is 1kW/m2 irradiance, 1 m/s wind speed, 20oC ambient temperature) in the fifth year of operation. The equipment to perform this test is expensive, but the fact that a company would know enough to specify this type of warranty is an indication that they are confident in their system design. Currently, the California Energy Commission Buydown program requires installing contractor to provide these warranties. The intent of this requirement is to improve customer acceptance of PV systems.

Annual energy performance warranties: Although there are very few companies selling systems with this type of warranty, an energy performance warranty guaranties that the system will perform consistently over a period of time. This is particularly helpful in ensuring that the customer receives the bill savings that they expect. This type of warranty is more common with energy efficiency retrofit projects for commercial and industrial clients. Adequate metering to verify the system power output and energy generation is necessary to help the system owner understand whether the system is operating properly, or has warranty-related performance issues. With an adequate meter, the customer can readily identify when the system is malfunctioning.

2.7.3. Company Reputation (years in business, previous projects)

The reputation of the PV manufacturer is a critical piece of the decision-making process. The size of the company, number of years in business, number of previous projects completed, are all important issues that need to be reviewed before choosing a company’s products. Although price is often the strongest single consideration in reviewing proposals, the other less tangible considerations often add up to a similar level of importance with cost. Fortunately, there are several companies with very strong financial and historical records in this field. It is recommended that you research the background and history of the prospective vendor thoroughly.

2.8. Overall Project Coordination

Once the decision is made to install a PV system, several issues must then be addressed.

2.8.1. Utility Considerations

The electric utility company providing service to the residence plays a very important role in this process. Interconnecting a PV system to the utility grid is not a trivial undertaking. Fortunately, PV has a well-developed set of utility interconnection standards making the process fairly straightforward. However, utilities are generally cautious since most have little experience interconnecting PV systems. The key point is to involve the utility as early as possible in the installation. Most knowledgeable utilities have adopted IEEE 929-2000 Recommended Practice for Utility Interface of Photovoltaic (PV) Systems. If the utility is unfamiliar with this document, make sure that they obtain a copy and thoroughly review it.. An inverter listed to UL 1741 (with the words "Utility-Interactive" printed on the listing mark) indicates that the unit is fully compliant with IEEE 929-2000.

The other major utility-related consideration is metering requirements. In California, as in many other states, there is legislation mandating utility companies to “net-meter” a certain amount of PV systems. Net metering refers to a standard house utility meter that measures the flow of electricity in and out of the home2. California law allows customers to carry-over excess energy from month-to-month with an annual true-up and payment of the electrical bill for any net consumption over the whole year. The net metering law does not require the utility to compensate the customer for excess electricity at the end of that 12-month period. For more information about this and other consumer-related PV issues, download the document, Buying a Photovoltaic Solar Electric System: A Consumers Guide, from the California Energy Commission’s website at http://www.energy.ca.gov/reports/500-99-008.PDF or call 1-800-555-7794 (Renewable Energy Call Center) to receive a copy by mail.

2.8.2. Acceptance of Systems (performance evaluation)

Typically, the installer verifies that the system has been installed according to the manufacturer’s procedures. A checkout procedure should be developed, such as the one provided in section 4 of this guide, to ensure an efficient and complete installation. Obtaining extremely accurate performance is difficult and requires expensive test equipment. Fortunately, it is not necessary to define the performance with extreme accuracy. A system can be checked with some common test equipment to verify proper installation and performance. A key to keeping the system testing simple is to do the tests on cloudless days. Clouds can cause fluctuations that confound evaluation of the results. The PV System Installation Checklist that accompanies this guide has a detailed System Acceptance Test.

2.8.3. System Documentation

Up to this point, selection, installation, and performance of PV systems have been discussed. Of similar importance are operation and ongoing maintenance of the equipment. As with other major systems in a home, it is essential that the owner have complete documentation on the system. System documentation should include an owner’s manual and copies of relevant drawings for whatever system maintenance might be required in the future.

2.8.4. System Monitoring

The key component of the system providing feedback to the customer is the power and energy metering. Without proper metering the customer will never know whether the system is operating properly or not. A simple meter, registering the power output of the PV system and recording the energy delivered to the house, can provide the owner with the satisfaction that they can monitor the performance of the system.

Yes, out! Even a 500-Watt PV system on a sunny day may generate more electricity than the home consumes at any given time.

Maximum power output of most properly installed PV systems occurs near midday on sunny days in the spring and fall. If the owner fully understands this characteristic they will not be disappointed with unavoidable low output in the middle of the winter. The meter is also a way of proving to the owner that the equipment is properly installed. Often, the owner’s primary indication of whether they feel the system is operating properly on not is their monthly electric bill. If the owner suddenly begins using more electricity, they may not see much decrease in their bill and assume the PV system is under-performing. A meter can help avoid disputes between the installer and the owner by showing that the system performs as advertised.

One of the attractive attributes of PV system is low maintenance. However, even electrical systems need to be maintained from time to time. With proper metering, an informed owner can easily determine if their system is operating properly or not. It is important that the owner have contact information for contractors that can perform system maintenance in their area. Although many areas do not have full-time PV contractors, it is always helpful to provide a list of two or three local contractors that offer PV maintenance services. Along with the information on local contractors, the system warranty information should be provided so that the customer clearly understands what is and is not covered by their warranty.

2.9. References

1999 National Electrical Code (NEC) Article 690 and Article 702. Emerging Renewables Buy-Down Program Information: http://www.energy.ca.gov/greengrid
Buying a Photovoltaic Solar Electric System: A Consumers Guide:

http://www.energy.ca.gov/reports/500-99-008.PDF Clean Power Estimator: http://www.energy.ca.gov/cleanpower/index.html List of Certified PV Modules: http://www.energy.ca.gov/greengrid/certified_pv_modules.html List of Certified Inverters: http://www.energy.ca.gov/greengrid/certified_inverters.html California Energy Commission, 1516 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814-5512, 800-555-7794 (Renewable Energy Call Center)

UL Standard 1703, Standard for Flat-plate Photovoltaic Modules and Panels UL Standard 1741, Inverters, Converters, and Controllers for Independent Power Systems IEEE Standard 929-2000, Recommended Practice for Utility Interface of Photovoltaic (PV) Systems IEEE Standard 1262-1995, Recommended Practice for Qualification of Photovoltaic (PV) Modules Environmental benefits of PV systems can be found at the following USEPA website:

http://199.223.18.230/epa/rew/rew.nsf/solar/index.html

SECTION 3: SYSTEM INSTALLATION

3.1. General Recommendations

The following is a list of general recommendations to help the installer choose the right materials, equipment, and installation methods that will help ensure that the system will provide many years of reliable service. These recommendations can be used to evaluate pre-engineered system designs and compare system features from one supplier to another.

3.1.1. Materials recommendations

  • Materials used outdoors should be sunlight/UV resistant

  • Urethane sealants should be used for all non-flashed roof penetrations.

  • Materials should be designed to withstand the temperatures to which they are exposed.

  • Dissimilar metals (such as steel and aluminum) should be isolated from one another using non-conductive shims, washers, or other methods.

  • Aluminum should not be placed in direct contact with concrete materials.

  • Only high quality fasteners should be used (stainless steel is preferred).

    • Structural members should be either:

      1. o corrosion resistant aluminum, 6061 or 6063

      2. o hot dip galvanized steel per ASTM A 123

      3. o coated or painted steel (only in low corrosive environments such as deserts)

      4. o stainless steel (particularly for corrosive marine environments)

3.1.2. Equipment recommendations and installation methods

  • All electrical equipment should be listed for the voltage and current ratings necessary for the application.

  • PV modules should be listed to UL 1703 and warranted for a minimum of 5 years (20-25 year warranties are available).

  • Inverters should be listed to UL 1741 and warranted for a minimum of 5 years (outside CA these may not be available).

  • All exposed cables or conduits should be sunlight resistant.

  • All required overcurrent protection should be included in the system and should be accessible for maintenance

  • All electrical terminations should be fully tightened, secured, and strain relieved as appropriate.

  • All mounting equipment should be installed according to manufacturers’ specifications

  • All roof penetrations should be sealed with an acceptable sealing method that does not adversely impact the roof warranty

  • Integral roofing products should be properly rated (e.g., class A roofing materials)

  • All cables, conduit, exposed conductors and electrical boxes should be secured and supported according to code requirements.

  • PV Array should be free of shade between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. This requirement includes even small obstructions such as vent pipes and chimneys. A small amount of shade can have a disproportionately high impact on system performance

Main Combiner DC/AC

Service

Utility Utility Box Inverter Switch Panel

3.2. PV System Design And Installation

PV Array

3.2.1. Preparation PhaseFigure 4 Simple PV System Diagram

  1. Contact the California Energy Commission 1-800-555-7794 (Renewable Energy Call Center) to receive a copy of the guide for the Buydown program or download the guide from the Buydown Website at www.energy.ca.gov/greengrid.

  2. Obtain past electric bills for the home if available and audit home to determine what can be done to reduce electricity usage.

  3. Determine the size of the PV system based on budget, energy cost reduction, and available mounting area for the system. The PV system supplier typically provides the customer with sizing and performance information. The method in section 2 of this document is intended to provide a basis to identify those suppliers who are thorough in their sizing estimates.

  4. Determine the physical size and dimensions of the PV array and its primary components. This is critically important in determining where the PV array and ancillary equipment is to be mounted.

3.2.2. Design Phase

  1. Examine location options for mounting the PV array (i.e. roof, patio cover, other structure).

  2. Review available pre-engineered system packages that contain the desired options. Compare the various product and system warranties available from each supplier.

  3. Confirm that the PV equipment has the necessary listings required by building officials (e.g. UL 1703, UL 1741, and any applicable evaluation reports from National Evaluation Services (NES) or International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) Evaluation Services)

  4. Select system options making sure the equipment meets the guidelines of local incentive programs. For the California Buydown Program check that the PV modules and inverter are listed on the Buydown Website at www.energy.ca.gov/greengrid

  5. Contact local utility company (PG&E, SCE, or SDG&E) to obtain the required documents for interconnection and net metering.

  6. Review documents to ensure system meets local interconnection requirements

  7. Purchase the equipment.

  8. Send completed Buydown Reservation package to the California Energy Commission.

  9. Lay out PV array on roof plan or other structure. If roof mounted, determine required location of PV modules on roof and any potential roof penetrations due to plumbing or combustion appliance vents that could affect array placement or shade the array. Some obstructions can be relocated to another portion of the roof should the penetration dramatically impact the location of the array. Attempt to provide for an aesthetically pleasing layout by attempting to follow the dimensional shape of the roof section (example: if the roof is rectangular, try to maintain the same shape rectangle in the array layout). If modules are to be grouped in panels of several modules for ease of wiring and mounting, try to arrange the panels in symmetrical arrangements.

    1. Calculate the impact of shading on the PV array layout with the assistance of a Solar Pathfinder (http://www.solarpathfinder.com/). Consider other locations to mount the PV array if the proposed location receives too much shade. Review the mounting options discussed in section two

    2. of this guide for alternatives.
  10. Measure the distance between the estimated locations of all system components and develop site drawing and one-line diagram of PV system installation for the permit package. (See example drawing).

    1. Assemble the permit package for the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). This package should include the following:

      1. Site drawing showing the location of the main system components--PV Array, conduit runs, electrical boxes, inverter enclosure, critical load subpanel, utility disconnect, main service panel, and utility service entrance. (see drawing EX-1 in Appendix)

      2. One-line diagram showing all significant electrical system components. (see drawings EX-2 and EX-3 in Appendix)

      3. Cut sheets for all significant electrical system components (PV modules, inverter, combiner, dc-rated switches and fuses, etc…).

      4. Copy of filled out utility contract.

      5. Structural drawing if the system is incorporated into a separate structure.

      6. Structural calculations as necessary

3.2.3. Installation Phase

  1. Submit required permit materials to the AHJ and pay for permit to begin construction.

  2. Receive equipment and prepare for installation. Examine all equipment to be sure that all equipment was shipped and that none was damaged in shipping.

  3. Review installation instructions for each component to become familiar with the installation process.

  4. Estimate length of wire runs from PV modules to combiner and inverter.

  5. Check ampacity of PV array circuits to determine the minimum wire size for current flow. Size wire for the run based on maximum short circuit current for each circuit and the length of the wire run. Example using drawing EX-1 in the appendix:

Check ampacity of PV array circuits:

a.
Minimum wire ampacity for the wire run from modules to combiner is based on module maximum series fuse rating printed on the listing label (i.e. 15-amps on 100-Watt module). From Table A-1 in the appendix, use the column for 90C in an open rack, use at least #14 AWG USE-2 wire. This is the minimum wire size and may need to be enlarged to reduce voltage drop.
b.
Minimum wire ampacity for the wire run from combiner to inverter is based on the number of module series strings times the maximum series fuse rating (5 series strings = 5 x 15 amps = 75 amps). From Table A-1 in the appendix, use the column titled “Ampacity of 75C wet rated conductors (45C)”, for a minimum of #3 AWG THWN wire in conduit. This is the minimum wire size and may need to be enlarged due to voltage drop.

6. Size PV array wiring such that the maximum voltage drop at full power from the PV modules to the inverter is 3% or less (6-amps for a 100-Watt module). If array combiner box is located remote from the inverter, spread the voltage drop accordingly between the PV array-to-combiner wiring and the combiner-to-inverter wiring (example from EX-1 in the appendix: with a 100-foot wire run from PV modules to inverter (3% total) comprised of a 25-foot wire run from PV modules to combiner box and a 75-foot wire run from combiner box to inverter—use a maximum of 1% for the 25-foot run and 2% loss for the 75-foot section for a total of 3%)

a.
wire run from modules to combiner is 25 feet. From the 48-Volt Table A-3 in the appendix, 1% voltage drop for 25 feet and 6 amps (to use table for 1% voltage drop, find D-Factor for 3% voltage drop for 6-amps at 25 feet (1.1), then multiply this value by 3 (3.3) to obtain proper size of wire on Table A-1in the appendix), use #10 AWG wire.
b.
wire run from combiner to inverter is 75 feet. From the 48-Volt Table A-3 in the appendix, 2% voltage drop for 75 feet and 30 amps (to use table for 2% voltage drop, find D-Factor for 3% voltage drop for 30 amps at 120 feet (16) then multiply this value by 1.5 (24) to obtain proper size of wire on Table A-1in the appendix), use #2 AWG wire.

7. Estimate length of wire run from inverter to main service panel (Example drawing EX-1 in the

appendix: wire run from inverter to panel is 25 feet). Example using sample drawing EX-1 in the appendix: Goal is 1% voltage drop for ac-side of system (3% absolute maximum) From 120-Volt table A-4, 1% voltage drop for 30 feet and 35 amps (to use table for 1% voltage drop, find D-Factor for 3% voltage drop for 30-amps at 30 feet (2.5), then multiply this value by 3

(7.5) to obtain proper size of wire on Table A-1), use #6 AWG wire.

    1. Examine main service panel to determine if the panel is adequately sized to receive the PV breaker or whether the panel must be upgraded.

    2. Many homes in California are fed by a 100-amp service panel. For residential applications, the NEC 690-64 allows the total supply (utility plus PV) to the busbar of the service panel to equal 120% of the busbar rating (100-amps x 1.2 = 120-amps). This means that a 100-amp service panel can have a 100-amp main breaker and a 20-amp PV breaker. If our example system can supply 45-amps of continuous power, we need room for a 60-amp circuit breaker (45-amps x 1.25 = 56.25 amps). A system that size will require either replacing the 100-amp main breaker with a 75-amp unit (not usually recommended) or replacing the existing 100-amp service panel with a 200-amp service panel. The 200-amp service panel is allowed 240-amps of supply (200-amps x 1.2= 240-amps) so if the PV breaker is rated at 60-amps, the main breaker can be up to 180 amps (240 amps – 60 amps = 180 amps)
    1. If system includes a critical load subpanel (battery standby system), determine which circuits are critical. These circuits must be adequately designed to handle the anticipated electrical loads. The standby portion of the system is considered by the NEC to be an Optional Standby System covered by Article 702.

        1. Warning: Multi-wire branch circuits in a home must be closely evaluated to allow them to be wired to a 120VAC optional standby system. There are four main ways to deal with these types of circuits:

        2. i. Install an autotransformer on the output of the inverter to step up the supplied voltage from 120Vac to 240Vac if necessary. The critical load subpanel can then be powered without concern of neutral overload.
        3. ii. Rerun one new branch circuit with each multiwire circuit so that one of the supply conductors of the multiwire circuit can be eliminated and the two circuits no longer share the neutral.
        4. iii. Avoid multiwire branch circuits in the home. This is often unacceptable since refrigerators and other key loads are normally found on multiwire branch circuits.
        5. iv. Derate the supply breaker to match the ampacity of the neutral wire. This is done by first determining that the maximum load on the two circuits is less than 80% of the rating of one pole of the double-pole supply breaker. For instance, if the supply breaker is a 20-amp double-pole breaker, the maximum allowable load on both circuits is a total of 16-amps at 120-Vac. To confirm this load, turn on all the loads intended to be operated at the same time and measure the load current with a clamp-on ammeter. If the total from the two circuits is less than 16-amps, the circuit may be supplied by a single-pole 20-amp circuit breaker, which protects the neutral from overload.
      1. All loads to be connected to the optional standby system must be carefully evaluated to determine if the actual power consumption and daily usage for each load can be met by the system in standby mode.

      2. All standby loads must be wired into a separate sub-panel for connection to the standby output of the inverter.

      3. Average power consumption for the standby power system loads must be calculated to determine how long the storage battery will provide uninterrupted power for typical electric usage.

      4. Article 702--Optional Standby Systems allows sizing based on supply of all equipment intended to be operated at one time (NEC 702-5). This means that all the 120-Volt loads could be run off of a single-pole 60-amp breaker from an optional standby system as long as the actual continuous load is below the 80% limit for continuous operation of a breaker (48 amps).

      5. It is recommended that the storage battery system consist of maintenance-free valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries with absorbed glass mat (AGM) construction since these require no maintenance by the homeowner. Other types of batteries may become available in the future that are equally suited to this application, but do not attempt to use any battery that has not been thoroughly tested in Uninterruptible Power System (UPS) applications.

      6. Battery storage cabinet must be kept out of the sun and in as cool a place as practical.

      7. Every battery storage system, whether it includes flooded lead-acid, or valve-regulated lead-acid batteries, requires ventilation. Battery storage cabinet must be ventilated to the outdoors; vents need to be at the high and low points in the cabinet. For battery systems in utility rooms in a living space, follow the same ventilation requirements as needed for gas-fired service water heaters.

  1. Determine location of critical load subpanel, install subpanel and prepare to move circuits

    1. Install PV array. Packaged systems should include detailed instructions on each phase of the installation process. Some basic guidelines that may help in reviewing installation procedures are:

      1. Prepare structure for mounting of PV array. If roof-mounted, hire roofing contractor to install roof mounts according to manufacturer’s directions.

      2. Check modules visually and check the open circuit voltage and short circuit current of each module before hauling onto the structure to verify proper operation—see checklist.

      3. Use plug connectors to connect panels together where listed products are available. This reduces installation time.

      4. Use only as many attachment points and roof penetrations as necessary for structural loading concerns. The number of attachment points and structural requirements of the roof must be specifically identified in the drawings.

      5. Mount PV array to support structure.

  2. Install PV combiner, inverter, and associated equipment to prepare for system wiring.

  3. Connect properly sized wire (determined in step 6 of installation phase) to each circuit of modules and run wire for each circuit to the circuit combiner(s). (WARNING: It is advisable to terminate the circuits in the circuit combiner prior to completing the final connection for each string at the PV array end of the circuit.)

  4. Run properly sized wire (determined in step 6 of installation phase) from circuit combiner to inverter overcurrent/disconnect switch (if available--follow installation procedure supplied by manufacturer).

  5. Run properly sized wire (determined in step 7 of installation phase) from inverter to utility disconnect switch (WARNING: Make sure the neutral wire does not get routed through one of the switch poles in the disconnect box.)

  6. Run properly sized wire (determined in step 7 of installation phase) from utility disconnect switch to main service panel and connect circuit to the main utility service.

  7. Use the checklist in section 4 to ensure proper installation throughout the system.

  8. Verify that all PV circuits are operating properly and the system is performing as expected. The PV System Installation Checklist in section 4 of this guide has a detailed performance testing procedure entitled System Acceptance Test.

  9. Shut system down and call for final inspections (AHJ first then utility--if necessary).

  10. Once approval to parallel is received from the utility, begin system operation.

  11. Mail completed Buydown Request Form, with all necessary attachments, to the California Energy Commission to receive Buydown payment.

  12. Enjoy watching your meter spin backward. (note: Time-Of-Use net meters do not have a meter disk to watch run backward—it has a digital readout instead).

3.2.4. Maintenance and Operation Phase

  1. Wash PV array, during the cool of the day, when there is a noticeable buildup of soiling deposits.

  2. Periodically inspect the system to make sure all wiring and supports stay intact.

  3. On a sunny day near noon on March 21 and September 21 of each year, review the output of the system (assuming the array is clean) to see if the performance of the system is close to the previous year's reading. Maintain a log of these readings so you can identify if the system is performance is staying consistent, or declining too rapidly, signifying a system problem.

Following the completion of each item on the checklist below, check the box to the left of the item and insert the date and initials of the person completing the item whether that is the installing contractor or owner-installer. Remember to follow the proper safety procedures while performing the system installation. The appropriate safety equipment for each section of the checklist is listed above each section of the checklist.

Before starting any PV system testing: (hard hat and eye protection recommended)

1. Check that non-current carrying metal parts are grounded properly. (array frames, racks, metal boxes, etc. are connected to the grounding system)

2. Ensure that all labels and safety signs specified in the plans are in place.

3. Verify that all disconnect switches (from the main AC disconnect all the way through to the combiner fuse switches) are in the open position and tag each box with a warning sign to signify that work on the PV system is in progress.

PV ARRAY--General (hard hat, gloves, and eye protection recommended)

1. Verify that all combiner fuses are removed and that no voltage is present at the output of the combiner box.

2. Visually inspect any plug and receptacle connectors between the modules and panels to ensure they are fully engaged.

3. Check that strain reliefs/cable clamps are properly installed on all cables and cords by pulling on cables to verify.

4. Check to make sure all panels are attached properly to their mounting brackets and nothing catches the eye as being abnormal or misaligned.

5. Visually inspect the array for cracked modules.

6. Check to see that all wiring is neat and well supported.

PV ARRAY CIRCUIT WIRING (hard hat and eye protection recommended)

1. Check home run wires (from PV modules to combiner box) at DC string combiner box to ensure there is no voltage on them.

2. Recheck that fuses are removed and all switches are open.

3. Connect the home run wires to the DC string combiner box terminals in the proper order and make sure labeling is clearly visible.

REPETITIVE SOURCE CIRCUIT STRING WIRING (hard hat, gloves, and eye protection recommended)

The following procedure must be followed for each source circuit string in a systematic approach—i.e. east to west or north to south. Ideal testing conditions are midday on cloudless days March through October.

4. Check open-circuit voltage of each of the panels in the string being wired to verify that it provides the manufacturer’s specified voltage in full sun. (Panels under the same sunlight conditions should have similar voltages--beware of a 20 Volt or more shift under the same sunlight conditions.)

5. Verify that the both the positive and negative string connectors are identified properly with permanent wire marking.

6. Repeat this sequence for all source circuit strings.

CONTINUATION OF PV ARRAY CIRCUIT WIRING (hard hat, gloves, and eye protection recommended)

7. Recheck that DC Disconnect switch is open and tag is still intact.

8. VERIFY POLARITY OF EACH SOURCE CIRCUIT STRING in the DC String Combiner Box (place common lead on the negative grounding block and the positive on each string connection-pay particular attention to make sure there is NEVER a negative measurement). Verify open-circuit voltage is within proper range according to manufacturer’s installation manual and number each string and note string position on as-built drawing. (Voltages should match closely if sunlight is consistent.)

WARNING: IF POLARITY OF ONE SOURCE CIRCUIT STRING IS REVERSED, THIS CAN START A FIRE IN THE FUSE BLOCK RESULTING IN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE COMBINER BOX AND POSSIBLY ADJACENT EQUIPMENT. REVERSE POLARITY ON AN INVERTER CAN ALSO CAUSE DAMAGE THAT IS NOT COVERED UNDER THE EQUIPMENT WARRANTY.

9. Retighten all terminals in the DC String Combiner Box.

WIRING TESTS--Remainder of System: (hard hat, gloves, and eye protection recommended)

10. Verify that the only place where the AC neutral is grounded is at the main service panel.

11. Check the AC line voltage at main AC disconnect is within proper limits (115-125 Volts AC for 120 Volts and 230-250 for 240 Volts).

12. If installation contains additional AC disconnect switches repeat the step 11 voltage check on each switch working from the main service entrance to the inverter AC disconnect switch closing each switch after the test is made except for the final switch before the inverter (it is possible that the system only has a single AC switch).

INVERTER STARTUP TESTS (hard hat, gloves, and eye protection recommended)

1. Be sure that the inverter is off before proceeding with this section.

2. Test the continuity of all DC fuses to be installed in the DC string combiner box, install all string fuses, and close fused switches in combiner box.

3. Check open circuit voltage at DC disconnect switch to ensure it is within proper limits according to the manufacturer’s installation manual.

4. If installation contains additional DC disconnect switches repeat the step 4 voltage check on each switch working from the PV array to the inverter DC disconnect switch closing each switch after the test is made except for the final switch before the inverter (it is possible that the system only has a single DC switch).

5. At this point consult the inverter manual and follow proper startup procedure (all power to the inverter should be off at this time).

6. Confirm that the inverter is operating and record the DC operating voltage in the following space.________

7. Confirm that the operating voltage is within proper limits according to the manufacturer’s installation manual.

8. After recording the operating voltage at the inverter close any open boxes related to the inverter system.

9. Confirm that the inverter is producing the expected power output on the supplied meter.

10. Provide the homeowner with the initial startup test report.

SYSTEM ACCEPTANCE TEST (hard hat and eye protection recommended)

Ideal testing conditions are midday on cloudless days March through October. However, this test procedure accounts for less than ideal conditions and allows acceptance tests to be conducted on sunny winter days.

1. Check to make sure that the PV array is in full sun with no shading whatsoever. If it is impossible to find a time during the day when the whole array is in full sun, only that portion that is in full sun will be able to be accepted.

2. If the system is not operating, turn the system on and allow it to run for 15 minutesbefore taking any performance measurements.

3. Obtain solar irradiance measurement by one of two methods and record irradiance on this line: W/m2. To obtain percentage of peak sun, divide irradiance by 1000 W/m2 and record the value on this line . (example: 692 W/m2 ÷ 1000 W/m2 = 0.692 or 69.2%.) Method 1: Take measurement from calibrated solar meter or pyranometer. Method 2: Place a single, properly operating PV module, of the same model found in the array, in full sun in the exact same orientation as the array being tested. After 15 minutes of full exposure, test the short circuit current with a digital multimeter and place that reading on this line: Amps. Divide this number into the short circuit current (Isc) value printed on the back of the PV module and multiply this number by 1000 W/m2 and record the value on the line above. (example: Isc-measured = 3.6 Amps; Isc-printed on module = 5.2 Amps; Irradiance = 3.6 Amps/5.2 Amps * 1000 W/m2 = 692 W/m2)

4. Sum the total of the module ratings and place that total on this line WattsSTC. Multiply this number by 0.7 to obtain expected peak AC output and record on this line WattsAC-estimated.

5. Record AC Watt output from the inverter or system meter and record on this line WattsAC-measured.

6. Divide WattsAC-measured by percent peak irradiance and record on this line

WattsAC-corrected. This “AC-corrected” value is the rated output of PV system. This number must be within 90% or higher of WattsAC-estimated recorded in step 4. If it is less than 90%, the PV system is either shaded, dirty, miswired, fuses are blown, or the modules or inverter are not operating properly.

Example:
A PV system is made up of 20, 100 WattSTC PV modules operating at an estimated irradiance of 692 W/m2 using
method 2 shown above. The power output is measured to be 1000 WattsAC-measured at the time of the test. Is thissystem operating properly or not?

Solution:
Sum of module ratings = 100 WattsSTC per module x 20 modules = 2,000 WattsSTC. Estimated AC power output = 2,000 WattsSTC x 0.7 = 1,400 WattsAC-estimated. Measured AC output = 1,000 WattsAC-measured.
Corrected AC output = 1,020 WattsAC-corrected ÷ 0.692 = 1,474 WattsAC-corrected. Comparison of corrected and estimated outputs: 1,474 WattsAC-corrected ÷ 1,400 WattsAC-estimated = 1.05 ≥ 0.9 (acceptable performance)

APPENDIX

PV Installation Guide

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Existing Exterior Main Breaker Box

Square-D 120 Volt QO Load Center

Minimum #6 AWG THWN Combiner Box

(2 plcs.) (Conduit size based

#10-2 conductor TC with THWN-2on wire fill)

conductors for all PV array wiring

+

POS

-

+ Photovoltaic Modules Trace Power Module

-

60 A
+

15 A, 5 plcs.

Trace C-40Continuous

Charge Controller

-

Equipment

+ Ground Surge Arrestor -

NEG

Trace No. 4/0 RHW

DC- SW4048 Inverter 250 A

AC DC+ InOut N4/0 RHW Battery Cables (Typical) No. 4/0 RHW

Exterior PG&E Disconnect Box Manual Transfer Switch in Power Module

Battery Box 1 Battery Box 2

60 A Isolated Neutral

Bonding Block

15 A 15 A20 A 20 A

N (isolated)

H

To 120 Vac House Loads

Notes:

  1. NEC Array Open Circuit Voltage = 95 Volts dc.

  2. Max. Short Circuit Array Current = 45 Amps.

  3. PV modules are UL-1703 listed, 100-Watt modules (Array consists of 20 modules – 5 parallel sets of 4 units in series)

  4. Trace Engineering Power Module with 4048 inverter, UL-1741 listed.

  5. Battery is 8 Concord PVC-1295 H units for 48 Vdc nominal battery voltage (2 parallel sets of 4 units in series).

1” EMT Conduits w/ #6 AWG THWN conductors

COMPANY NAME Title: Electrical Drawing, PV w/ Battery

Drawn By: Date:
Checked By: Related Drawings: EX-1
Scale: N/A Material: DWG NO. EX-2
 
TABLE A-1 WIRE SIZING TABLE
FOR AMPACITY AND VOLTAGE DROP
Ampacity of Ampacity of Ampacity of Ampacity of Ampacity of Ampacity of
90 C Wet Wire 90 C Wet Wire 75 C Wet Wire 90 C Wet Wire 75 C Wet Wire 60 C Wet Wire
Wire Size D Factor Roof Mounted Rack Mounted Rack Mounted BOS Wiring (45 C) BOS Wiring (45 C) BOS Wiring (45 C)
(AWG) Modules (80 C) Modules (70 C) Modules (70 C)
14 1.5 10 15 7 22 16 14
12 2.5 12 17 8 26 21 18
10 3.9 16 23 12 35 29 21
8 6.0 23 32 17 48 41 28
6 9.7 31 44 21 65 53 39
4 15.6 39 55 28 83 70 50
3 19 N/A N/A N/A 96 82 60
2 25 N/A N/A N/A 113 94 67
1 31 N/A N/A N/A 131 107 78
1/0 39 N/A N/A N/A 148 123 89
2/0 50 N/A N/A N/A 170 144 103
3/0 62 N/A N/A N/A 196 164 117
4/0 80 N/A N/A N/A 226 189 138
300MCM 112 N/A N/A N/A 278 234 170
500MCM 189 N/A N/A N/A 374 312 227
To determine D-Factor for 1% voltage drop simply multiply D-Factor from 3% tables by 3.
Example: 48V, 6Amps, 70ft--D Factor = 2.9 for 3%. Multiplying by 3 yields D Factor = 8.7
Solution: Need #10 AWG to stay under 3% voltage drop and #6 to stay under 1% voltage drop
To determine D-Factor for 2% voltage drop simply multiply D-Factor from 3% tables by 1.5.
Example: 48V, 6Amps, 70ft--D Factor = 2.9 for 3%. Multiplying by 1.5 yields D Factor = 4.4
Solution: Need #10 AWG to stay under 3% voltage drop and #8 to stay under 2% voltage drop
TABLE A-2 D FACTOR
3% VOLTAGE DROP--24-VOLT CIRCUITS-COPPER
ONE-WAY WIRE DISTANCE (FT)
AMPS
10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 80.0 90.0 100.0 120.0 140.0 160.0 180.0 200.0 220.0 240.0 260.0 280.0 300.0 320.0 340.0 360.0 380.0 400.0
2 0.3 0.6 0.8 1.1 1.4 1.7 1.9 2.2 2.5 2.8 3.3 3.9 4.4 5.0 5.6 6.1 6.7 7.2 7.8 8.3 8.9 9.4 10.0 10.6 11.1
4 0.6 1.1 1.7 2.2 2.8 3.3 3.9 4.4 5.0 5.6 6.7 7.8 8.9 10.0 11.1 12.2 13.3 14.4 15.6 16.7 17.8 18.9 20.0 21.1 22.2
6 0.8 1.7 2.5 3.3 4.2 5.0 5.8 6.7 7.5 8.3 10.0 11.7 13.3 15.0 16.7 18.3 20.0 21.7 23.3 25.0 26.7 28.3 30.0 31.7 33.3
8 1.1 2.2 3.3 4.4 5.6 6.7 7.8 8.9 10.0 11.1 13.3 15.6 17.8 20.0 22.2 24.4 26.7 28.9 31.1 33.3 35.6 37.8 40.0 42.2 44.4
10 1.4 2.8 4.2 5.6 6.9 8.3 9.7 11.1 12.5 13.9 16.7 19.4 22.2 25.0 27.8 30.6 33 36 39 42 44 47 50 53 56
12 1.7 3.3 5.0 6.7 8.3 10.0 11.7 13.3 15.0 16.7 20.0 23.3 26.7 30.0 33.3 36.7 40 43 47 50 53 57 60 63 67
14 1.9 3.9 5.8 7.8 9.7 11.7 13.6 15.6 17.5 19.4 23.3 27.2 31.1 35.0 38.9 42.8 47 51 54 58 62 66 70 74 78
16 2.2 4.4 6.7 8.9 11.1 13.3 15.6 17.8 20.0 22.2 26.7 31.1 35.6 40.0 44.4 48.9 53 58 62 67 71 76 80 84 89
18 2.5 5.0 7.5 10.0 12.5 15.0 17.5 20.0 22.5 25.0 30.0 35.0 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100
20 2.8 5.6 8.3 11.1 13.9 16.7 19.4 22.2 25.0 27.8 33.3 38.9 44 50 56 61 67 72 78 83 89 94 100 106 111
25 3.5 6.9 10.4 13.9 17.4 20.8 24.3 27.8 31.3 34.7 41.7 48.6 56 63 69 76 83 90 97 104 111 118 125 132 139
30 4.2 8.3 12.5 16.7 20.8 25.0 29.2 33 38 42 50 58 67 75 83 92 100 108 117 125 133 142 150 158 167
35 4.9 9.7 14.6 19.4 24.3 29.2 34.0 39 44 49 58 68 78 88 97 107 117 126 136 146 156 165 175 185 194
40 5.6 11.1 16.7 22.2 27.8 33.3 38.9 44 50 56 67 78 89 100 111 122 133 144 156 167 178 189 200 211 222
45 6.3 12.5 18.8 25.0 31.3 38 44 50 56 63 75 88 100 113 125 138 150 163 175 188 200 213 225 238 250
50 6.9 13.9 20.8 27.8 34.7 42 49 56 63 69 83 97 111 125 139 153 167 181 194 208 222 236 250 264 278
60 8.3 16.7 25.0 33 42 50 58 67 75 83 100 117 133 150 167 183 200 217 233 250 267 283 300 317 333
70 9.7 19.4 29.2 39 49 58 68 78 88 97 117 136 156 175 194 214 233 253 272 292 311 331 350 369 389
80 11.1 22.2 33.3 44 56 67 78 89 100 111 133 156 178 200 222 244 267 289 311 333 356 378 400 422 444
90 12.5 25.0 37.5 50 63 75 88 100 113 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300 325 350 375 400 425 450 475 500
100 13.9 27.8 41.7 56 69 83 97 111 125 139 167 194 222 250 278 306 333 361 389 417 444 472 500 528 556
110 15.3 30.6 45.8 61 76 92 107 122 138 153 183 214 244 275 306 336 367 397 428 458 489 519 550 581 611
120 16.7 33 50 67 83 100 117 133 150 167 200 233 267 300 333 367 400 433 467 500 533 567 600 633 667
130 18.1 36 54 72 90 108 126 144 163 181 217 253 289 325 361 397 433 469 506 542 578 614 650 686 722
140 19.4 39 58 78 97 117 136 156 175 194 233 272 311 350 389 428 467 506 544 583 622 661 700 739 778
150 20.8 42 63 83 104 125 146 167 188 208 250 292 333 375 417 458 500 542 583 625 667 708 750 792 833
160 22.2 44 67 89 111 133 156 178 200 222 267 311 356 400 444 489 533 578 622 667 711 756 800 844 889
170 23.6 47 71 94 118 142 165 189 213 236 283 331 378 425 472 519 567 614 661 708 756 803 850 897 944
180 25.0 50 75 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 300 350 400 450 500 550 600 650 700 750 800 850 900 950 1000
190 26.4 53 79 106 132 158 185 211 238 264 317 369 422 475 528 581 633 686 739 792 844 897 950 1003 1056
200 27.8 56 83 111 139 167 194 222 250 278 333 389 444 500 556 611 667 722 778 833 889 944 1000 1056 1111
TABLE A-3 D FACTOR
3% VOLTAGE DROP--48-VOLT CIRCUITS-COPPER
ONE-WAY WIRE DISTANCE (FT)
AMPS
10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 80.0 90.0 100.0 120.0 140.0 160.0 180.0 200.0 220.0 240.0 260.0 280.0 300.0 320.0 340.0 360.0 380.0 400.0
2 0.1 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.8 1.0 1.1 1.3 1.4 1.7 1.9 2.2 2.5 2.8 3.1 3.3 3.6 3.9 4.2 4.4 4.7 5.0 5.3 5.6
4 0.3 0.6 0.8 1.1 1.4 1.7 1.9 2.2 2.5 2.8 3.3 3.9 4.4 5.0 5.6 6.1 6.7 7.2 7.8 8.3 8.9 9.4 10.0 10.6 11.1
6 0.4 0.8 1.3 1.7 2.1 2.5 2.9 3.3 3.8 4.2 5.0 5.8 6.7 7.5 8.3 9.2 10.0 10.8 11.7 12.5 13.3 14.2 15.0 15.8 16.7
8 0.6 1.1 1.7 2.2 2.8 3.3 3.9 4.4 5.0 5.6 6.7 7.8 8.9 10.0 11.1 12.2 13.3 14.4 15.6 16.7 17.8 18.9 20.0 21.1 22.2
10 0.7 1.4 2.1 2.8 3.5 4.2 4.9 5.6 6.3 6.9 8.3 9.7 11.1 12.5 13.9 15.3 17 18 19 21 22 24 25 26 28
12 0.8 1.7 2.5 3.3 4.2 5.0 5.8 6.7 7.5 8.3 10.0 11.7 13.3 15.0 16.7 18.3 20 22 23 25 27 28 30 32 33
14 1.0 1.9 2.9 3.9 4.9 5.8 6.8 7.8 8.8 9.7 11.7 13.6 15.6 17.5 19.4 21.4 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39
16 1.1 2.2 3.3 4.4 5.6 6.7 7.8 8.9 10.0 11.1 13.3 15.6 17.8 20.0 22.2 24.4 27 29 31 33 36 38 40 42 44
18 1.3 2.5 3.8 5.0 6.3 7.5 8.8 10.0 11.3 12.5 15.0 17.5 20 23 25 28 30 33 35 38 40 43 45 48 50
20 1.4 2.8 4.2 5.6 6.9 8.3 9.7 11.1 12.5 13.9 16.7 19.4 22 25 28 31 33 36 39 42 44 47 50 53 56
25 1.7 3.5 5.2 6.9 8.7 10.4 12.2 13.9 15.6 17.4 20.8 24.3 28 31 35 38 42 45 49 52 56 59 63 66 69
30 2.1 4.2 6.3 8.3 10.4 12.5 14.6 17 19 21 25 29 33 38 42 46 50 54 58 63 67 71 75 79 83
35 2.4 4.9 7.3 9.7 12.2 14.6 17.0 19 22 24 29 34 39 44 49 53 58 63 68 73 78 83 88 92 97
40 2.8 5.6 8.3 11.1 13.9 16.7 19.4 22 25 28 33 39 44 50 56 61 67 72 78 83 89 94 100 106 111
45 3.1 6.3 9.4 12.5 15.6 19 22 25 28 31 38 44 50 56 63 69 75 81 88 94 100 106 113 119 125
50 3.5 6.9 10.4 13.9 17.4 21 24 28 31 35 42 49 56 63 69 76 83 90 97 104 111 118 125 132 139
60 4.2 8.3 12.5 17 21 25 29 33 38 42 50 58 67 75 83 92 100 108 117 125 133 142 150 158 167
70 4.9 9.7 14.6 19 24 29 34 39 44 49 58 68 78 88 97 107 117 126 136 146 156 165 175 185 194
80 5.6 11.1 16.7 22 28 33 39 44 50 56 67 78 89 100 111 122 133 144 156 167 178 189 200 211 222
90 6.3 12.5 18.8 25 31 38 44 50 56 63 75 88 100 113 125 138 150 163 175 188 200 213 225 238 250
100 6.9 13.9 20.8 28 35 42 49 56 63 69 83 97 111 125 139 153 167 181 194 208 222 236 250 264 278
110 7.6 15.3 22.9 31 38 46 53 61 69 76 92 107 122 138 153 168 183 199 214 229 244 260 275 290 306
120 8.3 17 25 33 42 50 58 67 75 83 100 117 133 150 167 183 200 217 233 250 267 283 300 317 333
130 9.0 18 27 36 45 54 63 72 81 90 108 126 144 163 181 199 217 235 253 271 289 307 325 343 361
140 9.7 19 29 39 49 58 68 78 88 97 117 136 156 175 194 214 233 253 272 292 311 331 350 369 389
150 10.4 21 31 42 52 63 73 83 94 104 125 146 167 188 208 229 250 271 292 313 333 354 375 396 417
160 11.1 22 33 44 56 67 78 89 100 111 133 156 178 200 222 244 267 289 311 333 356 378 400 422 444
170 11.8 24 35 47 59 71 83 94 106 118 142 165 189 213 236 260 283 307 331 354 378 401 425 449 472
180 12.5 25 38 50 63 75 88 100 113 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300 325 350 375 400 425 450 475 500
190 13.2 26 40 53 66 79 92 106 119 132 158 185 211 238 264 290 317 343 369 396 422 449 475 501 528
200 13.9 28 42 56 69 83 97 111 125 139 167 194 222 250 278 306 333 361 389 417 444 472 500 528 556
TABLE A-4 D FACTOR
3% VOLTAGE DROP--120-VOLT CIRCUITS-COPPER
ONE-WAY WIRE DISTANCE (FT)
AMPS
10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 80.0 90.0 100.0 120.0 140.0 160.0 180.0 200.0 220.0 240.0 260.0 280.0 300.0 320.0 340.0 360.0 380.0 400.0
2 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.0 2.1 2.2
4 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.3 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.7 2.9 3.1 3.3 3.6 3.8 4.0 4.2 4.4
6 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.7 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.3 1.5 1.7 2.0 2.3 2.7 3.0 3.3 3.7 4.0 4.3 4.7 5.0 5.3 5.7 6.0 6.3 6.7
8 0.2 0.4 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.3 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.7 3.1 3.6 4.0 4.4 4.9 5.3 5.8 6.2 6.7 7.1 7.6 8.0 8.4 8.9
10 0.3 0.6 0.8 1.1 1.4 1.7 1.9 2.2 2.5 2.8 3.3 3.9 4.4 5.0 5.6 6.1 6.7 7.2 7.8 8.3 8.9 9.4 10.0 10.6 11.1
12 0.3 0.7 1.0 1.3 1.7 2.0 2.3 2.7 3.0 3.3 4.0 4.7 5.3 6.0 6.7 7.3 8.0 8.7 9.3 10.0 10.7 11.3 12.0 12.7 13.3
14 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6 1.9 2.3 2.7 3.1 3.5 3.9 4.7 5.4 6.2 7.0 7.8 8.6 9.3 10.1 10.9 11.7 12.4 13.2 14.0 14.8 15.6
16 0.4 0.9 1.3 1.8 2.2 2.7 3.1 3.6 4.0 4.4 5.3 6.2 7.1 8.0 8.9 9.8 10.7 11.6 12.4 13.3 14.2 15.1 16.0 16.9 17.8
18 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 15.0 16.0 17.0 18.0 19.0 20.0
20 0.6 1.1 1.7 2.2 2.8 3.3 3.9 4.4 5.0 5.6 6.7 7.8 8.9 10.0 11.1 12.2 13.3 14.4 15.6 16.7 17.8 18.9 20.0 21.1 22.2
25 0.7 1.4 2.1 2.8 3.5 4.2 4.9 5.6 6.3 6.9 8.3 9.7 11.1 12.5 14 15 17 18 19 21 22 24 25 26 28
30 0.8 1.7 2.5 3.3 4.2 5.0 5.8 6.7 7.5 8.3 10.0 11.7 13.3 15.0 17 18 20 22 23 25 27 28 30 32 33
35 1.0 1.9 2.9 3.9 4.9 5.8 6.8 7.8 8.8 9.7 11.7 13.6 15.6 17.5 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39
40 1.1 2.2 3.3 4.4 5.6 6.7 7.8 8.9 10.0 11.1 13.3 15.6 17.8 20.0 22 24 27 29 31 33 36 38 40 42 44
45 1.3 2.5 3.8 5.0 6.3 7.5 8.8 10.0 11.3 12.5 15.0 17.5 20.0 22.5 25 28 30 33 35 38 40 43 45 48 50
50 1.4 2.8 4.2 5.6 6.9 8.3 9.7 11.1 12.5 13.9 16.7 19.4 22.2 25.0 28 31 33 36 39 42 44 47 50 53 56
60 1.7 3.3 5.0 6.7 8.3 10.0 11.7 13 15 17 20 23 27 30 33 37 40 43 47 50 53 57 60 63 67
70 1.9 3.9 5.8 7.8 9.7 11.7 13.6 16 18 19 23 27 31 35 39 43 47 51 54 58 62 66 70 74 78
80 2.2 4.4 6.7 8.9 11.1 13.3 15.6 18 20 22 27 31 36 40 44 49 53 58 62 67 71 76 80 84 89
90 2.5 5.0 7.5 10.0 12.5 15.0 17.5 20 23 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100
100 2.8 5.6 8.3 11.1 13.9 16.7 19.4 22 25 28 33 39 44 50 56 61 67 72 78 83 89 94 100 106 111
110 3.1 6.1 9.2 12.2 15.3 18.3 21.4 24 28 31 37 43 49 55 61 67 73 79 86 92 98 104 110 116 122
120 3.3 6.7 10.0 13.3 16.7 20.0 23.3 27 30 33 40 47 53 60 67 73 80 87 93 100 107 113 120 127 133
130 3.6 7.2 10.8 14.4 18.1 21.7 25.3 29 33 36 43 51 58 65 72 79 87 94 101 108 116 123 130 137 144
140 3.9 7.8 11.7 16 19 23 27 31 35 39 47 54 62 70 78 86 93 101 109 117 124 132 140 148 156
150 4.2 8.3 12.5 17 21 25 29 33 38 42 50 58 67 75 83 92 100 108 117 125 133 142 150 158 167
160 4.4 8.9 13.3 18 22 27 31 36 40 44 53 62 71 80 89 98 107 116 124 133 142 151 160 169 178
170 4.7 9.4 14.2 19 24 28 33 38 43 47 57 66 76 85 94 104 113 123 132 142 151 161 170 179 189
180 5.0 10.0 15.0 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200
190 5.3 10.6 15.8 21 26 32 37 42 48 53 63 74 84 95 106 116 127 137 148 158 169 179 190 201 211
200 5.6 11.1 16.7 22 28 33 39 44 50 56 67 78 89 100 111 122 133 144 156 167 178 189 200 211 222
TABLE A-5 D FACTOR
3% VOLTAGE DROP--240-VOLT CIRCUITS-COPPER
ONE-WAY WIRE DISTANCE (FT)
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 300 320 340 360 380 400
AMPS
2 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.9 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.1
4 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.0 2.1 2.2
6 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.3 1.5 1.7 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.3 2.5 2.7 2.8 3.0 3.2 3.3
8 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.3 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.7 2.9 3.1 3.3 3.6 3.8 4.0 4.2 4.4
10 0.1 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.8 1.0 1.1 1.3 1.4 1.7 1.9 2.2 2.5 2.8 3.1 3.3 3.6 3.9 4.2 4.4 4.7 5.0 5.3 5.6
12 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.7 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.3 1.5 1.7 2.0 2.3 2.7 3.0 3.3 3.7 4.0 4.3 4.7 5.0 5.3 5.7 6.0 6.3 6.7
14 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 1.9 2.3 2.7 3.1 3.5 3.9 4.3 4.7 5.1 5.4 5.8 6.2 6.6 7.0 7.4 7.8
16 0.2 0.4 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.3 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.7 3.1 3.6 4.0 4.4 4.9 5.3 5.8 6.2 6.7 7.1 7.6 8.0 8.4 8.9
18 0.3 0.5 0.8 1.0 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.3 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0 8.5 9.0 9.5 10.0
20 0.3 0.6 0.8 1.1 1.4 1.7 1.9 2.2 2.5 2.8 3.3 3.9 4.4 5.0 5.6 6.1 6.7 7.2 7.8 8.3 8.9 9.4 10.0 10.6 11.1
25 0.3 0.7 1.0 1.4 1.7 2.1 2.4 2.8 3.1 3.5 4.2 4.9 5.6 6.3 6.9 7.6 8.3 9.0 9.7 10.4 11.1 11.8 12.5 13.2 13.9
30 0.4 0.8 1.3 1.7 2.1 2.5 2.9 3.3 3.8 4.2 5.0 5.8 6.7 7.5 8.3 9.2 10.0 10.8 11.7 12.5 13.3 14.2 15.0 16 17
35 0.5 1.0 1.5 1.9 2.4 2.9 3.4 3.9 4.4 4.9 5.8 6.8 7.8 8.8 9.7 10.7 11.7 12.6 13.6 14.6 15.6 16.5 17.5 18 19
40 0.6 1.1 1.7 2.2 2.8 3.3 3.9 4.4 5.0 5.6 6.7 7.8 8.9 10.0 11.1 12.2 13.3 14.4 15.6 16.7 17.8 18.9 20.0 21 22
45 0.6 1.3 1.9 2.5 3.1 3.8 4.4 5.0 5.6 6.3 7.5 8.8 10.0 11.3 12.5 13.8 15.0 16 18 19 20 21 23 24 25
50 0.7 1.4 2.1 2.8 3.5 4.2 4.9 5.6 6.3 6.9 8.3 9.7 11.1 12.5 13.9 15.3 16.7 18 19 21 22 24 25 26 28
60 0.8 1.7 2.5 3.3 4.2 5.0 5.8 6.7 7.5 8.3 10.0 11.7 13.3 15.0 17 18 20 22 23 25 27 28 30 32 33
70 1.0 1.9 2.9 3.9 4.9 5.8 6.8 7.8 8.8 9.7 11.7 13.6 15.6 17.5 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39
80 1.1 2.2 3.3 4.4 5.6 6.7 7.8 8.9 10.0 11.1 13.3 15.6 17.8 20.0 22 24 27 29 31 33 36 38 40 42 44
90 1.3 2.5 3.8 5.0 6.3 7.5 8.8 10.0 11.3 12.5 15.0 17.5 20.0 22.5 25 28 30 33 35 38 40 43 45 48 50
100 1.4 2.8 4.2 5.6 6.9 8.3 9.7 11.1 12.5 13.9 16.7 19.4 22.2 25.0 28 31 33 36 39 42 44 47 50 53 56
110 1.5 3.1 4.6 6.1 7.6 9.2 10.7 12.2 13.8 15.3 18.3 21.4 24.4 27.5 31 34 37 40 43 46 49 52 55 58 61
120 1.7 3.3 5.0 6.7 8.3 10.0 11.7 13.3 15.0 17 20 23 27 30 33 37 40 43 47 50 53 57 60 63 67
130 1.8 3.6 5.4 7.2 9.0 10.8 12.6 14.4 16.3 18 22 25 29 33 36 40 43 47 51 54 58 61 65 69 72
140 1.9 3.9 5.8 7.8 9.7 11.7 13.6 15.6 17.5 19 23 27 31 35 39 43 47 51 54 58 62 66 70 74 78
150 2.1 4.2 6.3 8.3 10.4 12.5 14.6 17 19 21 25 29 33 38 42 46 50 54 58 63 67 71 75 79 83
160 2.2 4.4 6.7 8.9 11.1 13.3 15.6 18 20 22 27 31 36 40 44 49 53 58 62 67 71 76 80 84 89
170 2.4 4.7 7.1 9.4 11.8 14.2 16.5 19 21 24 28 33 38 43 47 52 57 61 66 71 76 80 85 90 94
180 2.5 5.0 7.5 10.0 12.5 15.0 17.5 20 23 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100
190 2.6 5.3 7.9 10.6 13.2 16 18 21 24 26 32 37 42 48 53 58 63 69 74 79 84 90 95 100 106
200 2.8 5.6 8.3 11.1 13.9 17 19 22 25 28 33 39 44 50 56 61 67 72 78 83 89 94 100 106 111
210 2.9 5.8 8.8 11.7 14.6 18 20 23 26 29 35 41 47 53 58 64 70 76 82 88 93 99 105 111 117
220 3.1 6.1 9.2 12.2 15.3 18 21 24 28 31 37 43 49 55 61 67 73 79 86 92 98 104 110 116 122
230 3.2 6.4 9.6 12.8 16.0 19 22 26 29 32 38 45 51 58 64 70 77 83 89 96 102 109 115 121 128
240 3.3 6.7 10.0 13.3 16.7 20 23 27 30 33 40 47 53 60 67 73 80 87 93 100 107 113 120 127 133
250 3.5 6.9 10.4 13.9 17.4 21 24 28 31 35 42 49 56 63 69 76 83 90 97 104 111 118 125 132 139
260 3.6 7.2 10.8 14.4 18 22 25 29 33 36 43 51 58 65 72 79 87 94 101 108 116 123 130 137 144
270 3.8 7.5 11.3 15.0 19 23 26 30 34 38 45 53 60 68 75 83 90 98 105 113 120 128 135 143 150
280 3.9 7.8 11.7 15.6 19 23 27 31 35 39 47 54 62 70 78 86 93 101 109 117 124 132 140 148 156
290 4.0 8.1 12.1 16.1 20 24 28 32 36 40 48 56 64 73 81 89 97 105 113 121 129 137 145 153 161
300 4.2 8.3 12.5 16.7 21 25 29 33 38 42 50 58 67 75 83 92 100 108 117 125 133 142 150 158 167
TABLE A-6 MAXIMUM ONE-WAY WIRE DISTANCE (FT)
3% VOLTAGE DROP--24-VOLT CIRCUITS-COPPER
AMERICAN WIRE GAUGE (AWG) WIRE SIZE
14 12 10 8 6 4 3 2 1 1/0 2/0 3/0 4/0 300MCM 500MCM
AMPS WATTS
2 48 55 88 140 222 353 561 709 896 1125 1417 1782 2258 2875 4036 6792
4 96 28 44 70 111 176 280 354 448 563 709 891 1129 1438 2018 3396
6 144 18 29 47 74 118 187 236 299 375 472 594 753 958 1345 2264
8 192 14 22 35 56 88 140 177 224 281 354 446 565 719 1009 1698
10 240 18 28 44 71 112 142 179 225 283 356 452 575 807 1358
12 288 15 23 37 59 93 118 149 188 236 297 376 479 673 1132
14 336 20 32 50 80 101 128 161 202 255 323 411 577 970
16 384 17 28 44 70 89 112 141 177 223 282 359 504 849
18 432 16 25 39 62 79 100 125 157 198 251 319 448 755
20 480 14 22 35 56 71 90 113 142 178 226 288 404 679
25 600 18 28 45 57 72 90 113 143 181 230 323 543
30 720 15 24 37 47 60 75 94 119 151 192 269 453
35 840 20 32 40 51 64 81 102 129 164 231 388
40 960 18 28 35 45 56 71 89 113 144 202 340
45 1080 16 25 31 40 50 63 79 100 128 179 302
50 1200 14 22 28 36 45 57 71 90 115 161 272
60 1440 19 24 30 38 47 59 75 96 135 226
70 1680 16 20 26 32 40 51 65 82 115 194
80 1920 14 18 22 28 35 45 56 72 101 170
90 2160 16 20 25 31 40 50 64 90 151
100 2400 14 18 23 28 36 45 58 81 136
110 2640 16 20 26 32 41 52 73 123
120 2880 15 19 24 30 38 48 67 113
130 3120 14 17 22 27 35 44 62 104
140 3360 16 20 25 32 41 58 97
150 3600 15 19 24 30 38 54 91
160 3840 14 18 22 28 36 50 85
170 4080 17 21 27 34 47 80
180 4320 16 20 25 32 45 75
190 4560 15 19 24 30 42 71
200 4800 14 18 23 29 40 68
TABLE A-7 MAXIMUM ONE-WAY WIRE DISTANCE (FT)
3% VOLTAGE DROP--48-VOLT CIRCUITS-COPPER
AMERICAN WIRE GAUGE (AWG) WIRE SIZE
14 12 10 8 6 4 3 2 1 1/0 2/0 3/0 4/0 300MCM 500MCM
AMPS WATTS
2 96 110 176 279 445 706 1121 1417 1791 2250 2835 3564 4517 5751 8072 13585
4 192 55 88 140 222 353 561 709 896 1125 1417 1782 2258 2875 4036 6792
6 288 37 59 93 148 235 374 472 597 750 945 1188 1506 1917 2691 4528
8 384 28 44 70 111 176 280 354 448 563 709 891 1129 1438 2018 3396
10 480 22 35 56 89 141 224 283 358 450 567 713 903 1150 1614 2717
12 576 18 29 47 74 118 187 236 299 375 472 594 753 958 1345 2264
14 672 16 25 40 64 101 160 202 256 321 405 509 645 822 1153 1941
16 768 22 35 56 88 140 177 224 281 354 446 565 719 1009 1698
18 864 20 31 49 78 125 157 199 250 315 396 502 639 897 1509
20 960 18 28 44 71 112 142 179 225 283 356 452 575 807 1358
25 1200 22 36 56 90 113 143 180 227 285 361 460 646 1087
30 1440 19 30 47 75 94 119 150 189 238 301 383 538 906
35 1680 16 25 40 64 81 102 129 162 204 258 329 461 776
40 1920 22 35 56 71 90 113 142 178 226 288 404 679
45 2160 20 31 50 63 80 100 126 158 201 256 359 604
50 2400 18 28 45 57 72 90 113 143 181 230 323 543
60 2880 15 24 37 47 60 75 94 119 151 192 269 453
70 3360 20 32 40 51 64 81 102 129 164 231 388
80 3840 18 28 35 45 56 71 89 113 144 202 340
90 4320 16 25 31 40 50 63 79 100 128 179 302
100 4800 22 28 36 45 57 71 90 115 161 272
110 5280 20 26 33 41 52 65 82 105 147 247
120 5760 19 24 30 38 47 59 75 96 135 226
130 6240 17 22 28 35 44 55 69 88 124 209
140 6720 16 20 26 32 40 51 65 82 115 194
150 7200 15 19 24 30 38 48 60 77 108 181
160 7680 18 22 28 35 45 56 72 101 170
170 8160 17 21 26 33 42 53 68 95 160
180 8640 16 20 25 31 40 50 64 90 151
190 9120 15 19 24 30 38 48 61 85 143
200 9600 18 23 28 36 45 58 81 136
TABLE A-8 MAXIMUM ONE-WAY WIRE DISTANCE (FT)
3% VOLTAGE DROP--120-VOLT CIRCUITS-COPPER
AMERICAN WIRE GAUGE (AWG) WIRE SIZE
14 12 10 8 6 4 3 2 1 1/0 2/0 3/0 4/0 300MCM 500MCM
AMPS WATTS
2 240 276 439 698 1112 1765 2804 3543 4478 5625 7087 8911 11292 14377 20179 33962
4 480 138 220 349 556 882 1402 1772 2239 2813 3543 4455 5646 7188 10090 16981
6 720 92 146 233 371 588 935 1181 1493 1875 2362 2970 3764 4792 6726 11321
8 960 69 110 174 278 441 701 886 1119 1406 1772 2228 2823 3594 5045 8491
10 1200 55 88 140 222 353 561 709 896 1125 1417 1782 2258 2875 4036 6792
12 1440 46 73 116 185 294 467 591 746 938 1181 1485 1882 2396 3363 5660
14 1680 39 63 100 159 252 401 506 640 804 1012 1273 1613 2054 2883 4852
16 1920 35 55 87 139 221 350 443 560 703 886 1114 1412 1797 2522 4245
18 2160 31 49 78 124 196 312 394 498 625 787 990 1255 1597 2242 3774
20 2400 28 44 70 111 176 280 354 448 563 709 891 1129 1438 2018 3396
25 3000 22 35 56 89 141 224 283 358 450 567 713 903 1150 1614 2717
30 3600 18 29 47 74 118 187 236 299 375 472 594 753 958 1345 2264
35 4200 16 25 40 64 101 160 202 256 321 405 509 645 822 1153 1941
40 4800 22 35 56 88 140 177 224 281 354 446 565 719 1009 1698
45 5400 20 31 49 78 125 157 199 250 315 396 502 639 897 1509
50 6000 18 28 44 71 112 142 179 225 283 356 452 575 807 1358
60 7200 15 23 37 59 93 118 149 188 236 297 376 479 673 1132
70 8400 20 32 50 80 101 128 161 202 255 323 411 577 970
80 9600 17 28 44 70 89 112 141 177 223 282 359 504 849
90 10800 16 25 39 62 79 100 125 157 198 251 319 448 755
100 12000 22 35 56 71 90 113 142 178 226 288 404 679
110 13200 20 32 51 64 81 102 129 162 205 261 367 617
120 14400 19 29 47 59 75 94 118 149 188 240 336 566
130 15600 17 27 43 55 69 87 109 137 174 221 310 522
140 16800 16 25 40 51 64 80 101 127 161 205 288 485
150 18000 15 24 37 47 60 75 94 119 151 192 269 453
160 19200 22 35 44 56 70 89 111 141 180 252 425
170 20400 21 33 42 53 66 83 105 133 169 237 400
180 21600 20 31 39 50 63 79 99 125 160 224 377
190 22800 19 30 37 47 59 75 94 119 151 212 357
200 24000 18 28 35 45 56 71 89 113 144 202 340
TABLE A-9 MAXIMUM ONE-WAY WIRE DISTANCE (FT)
3% VOLTAGE DROP--240-VOLT CIRCUITS-COPPER
AMERICAN WIRE GAUGE (AWG) WIRE SIZE
14 12 10 8 6 4 3 2 1 1/0 2/0 3/0 4/0 300MCM 500MCM
AMPS WATTS
2 480 552 878 1395 2225 3529 5607 7087 8955 11250 14173 17822 22585 28754 40359 67925
4 960 276 439 698 1112 1765 2804 3543 4478 5625 7087 8911 11292 14377 20179 33962
6 1440 184 293 465 742 1176 1869 2362 2985 3750 4724 5941 7528 9585 13453 22642
8 1920 138 220 349 556 882 1402 1772 2239 2813 3543 4455 5646 7188 10090 16981
10 2400 110 176 279 445 706 1121 1417 1791 2250 2835 3564 4517 5751 8072 13585
12 2880 92 146 233 371 588 935 1181 1493 1875 2362 2970 3764 4792 6726 11321
14 3360 79 125 199 318 504 801 1012 1279 1607 2025 2546 3226 4108 5766 9704
16 3840 69 110 174 278 441 701 886 1119 1406 1772 2228 2823 3594 5045 8491
18 4320 61 98 155 247 392 623 787 995 1250 1575 1980 2509 3195 4484 7547
20 4800 55 88 140 222 353 561 709 896 1125 1417 1782 2258 2875 4036 6792
25 6000 44 70 112 178 282 449 567 716 900 1134 1426 1807 2300 3229 5434
30 7200 37 59 93 148 235 374 472 597 750 945 1188 1506 1917 2691 4528
35 8400 32 50 80 127 202 320 405 512 643 810 1018 1291 1643 2306 3881
40 9600 28 44 70 111 176 280 354 448 563 709 891 1129 1438 2018 3396
45 10800 25 39 62 99 157 249 315 398 500 630 792 1004 1278 1794 3019
50 12000 22 35 56 89 141 224 283 358 450 567 713 903 1150 1614 2717
60 14400 18 29 47 74 118 187 236 299 375 472 594 753 958 1345 2264
70 16800 16 25 40 64 101 160 202 256 321 405 509 645 822 1153 1941
80 19200 22 35 56 88 140 177 224 281 354 446 565 719 1009 1698
90 21600 20 31 49 78 125 157 199 250 315 396 502 639 897 1509
100 24000 18 28 44 71 112 142 179 225 283 356 452 575 807 1358
110 26400 16 25 40 64 102 129 163 205 258 324 411 523 734 1235
120 28800 15 23 37 59 93 118 149 188 236 297 376 479 673 1132
130 31200 21 34 54 86 109 138 173 218 274 347 442 621 1045
140 33600 20 32 50 80 101 128 161 202 255 323 411 577 970
150 36000 19 30 47 75 94 119 150 189 238 301 383 538 906
160 38400 17 28 44 70 89 112 141 177 223 282 359 504 849
170 40800 16 26 42 66 83 105 132 167 210 266 338 475 799
180 43200 16 25 39 62 79 100 125 157 198 251 319 448 755
190 45600 15 23 37 59 75 94 118 149 188 238 303 425 715
200 48000 22 35 56 71 90 113 142 178 226 288 404 679